Out-Of-The-Box The Container Office
Out-Of-The-Box The Container Office
The client’s brief was to have sales premises that will create a lasting impression on the prospective buyers visiting this place. As no construction activity was started, this office was the only assurance for their clients. Moreover, they wanted to use this space only for about 12-18 months, as later this piece of land was going to be used to build their clubhouse. Thus, being able to re-use maximum possible stuff from this setup was one of their prime concerns. Set amidst a very scares semi-rural development, this site was located on the outskirts of Pune.
The piece of land allocated for this office was right at the centre of this 17-acre plot. Thus, the contextual reference was about building literally in a no-mans’ land and rather create a contextual note for all the future development on this site. Another aspect was the lack of any notable existing vegetation, making it a barren piece of land. As a response to the client’s requirement and site context, we decided to use ‘Metal Containers’ for this office setup.
Based on the functional necessity, we divided spaces into four parts with the 1st container comprising of reception, waiting and small discussion. The 2nd container was used for a conference space while the 3rd container was defined as a marketing space with provision for project branding and two marketing tables. The 4th container was to be used as a service area with a store, pantry and washroom. All these containers were linked to each other with semi-covered walkways leading right from the entrance. On a larger canvas, our idea was to create a series of inward-looking courts so that the entire campus is spatially well connected.
Our designs were broadly based on creating an element of interest for the visitor and forming spaces that will be based on the basic fundamentals of climate responsive design, easy circulation and truthfulness to materials used. We wanted to refrain ourselves from using any kind of cosmetic applications either inside or outside. We also wanted to blur the line between its architecture and interiors. A design vocabulary was derived that was supposed to start with the overall architectural spaces and continue into the interiors right till the minutest of details. On a flat and barren piece of land, idea was to create a space that is enclosed, looks inwards and yet has a strong reference with the surroundings. Climatic considerations governed the block placements and visitor movement was defined by an activity-based space planning. The outdoors was designed to be an extension of indoors and vice-versa.
As a deliberate and conscious effort, we have tried not to dilute the fundamental look and feel of the materials used in this project. So the material palette primarily constitutes of metal, granite and greenery. All spaces and surfaces are defined by these 3 elements.
The vertical surfaces of the metal containers are the same from outside and inside. No cladding or panelling is done to cover them. Vertical grooves are taken in all customised furniture to compliment design vocabulary of the metal containers and the furniture have been made in cement boards and that’s the final finish. Accessories, frames, chairs and even the light fittings are in metal. Clear glass is used wherever required to retain visual connect with the outdoors. Colours that highlight each container from outside, eventually wrap them from inside too.
Climatic Responsive Approach:
As a response to the climatic conditions prevailing at the location, efforts were taken to modulate and organise variously usable and supporting spaces. The external walls and pergolas play a very important role by casting a shade on the surfaces directly exposed to harsh sunlight. The southern and western sides of the containers were shielded with free-standing walls. The distance of placement of these walls was derived from the amount of shadow they would cast on the container surface during the major part of the day. To welcome in western winds, external walls either have been staggered or have been punctured on the opposite directions. This helps is cross ventilation on a larger scale keeping the inner spaces more comfortable. Walkways connecting various containers are semi-covered with pergola and polycarbonate sheets. This projects during rains and helps in retaining the wind circulation from one court to the other. Patches of greenery all along with the usable spaces again help in cooling down the hot air traversing over them and in turn getting transferred to the inner parts of the container.
Fact File: Project Name: The Container Office
Typology: Sales Office
Location: Talegaon, Pune
Carpet Area: 800 sq.ft. (4 Containers)
Land Area: 3500 sq.ft.
Photo Credits: Atul Kanetkar
Project by Architect Architect Tushar Kothawade and Designer Chiranjivi Lunkad of Studio Infinity
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